Looking Back, Looking Ahead
The Voiro Team
Voiro turned 5 in August this year.
We promise ourselves a big celebration when we have a moment away from the ‘busyness’ of business. For now, however, we’ve taken the time to share our journey. 5 years might not count for a lot in the grand scale of life but for those who know startups, it IS a lifetime. The abysmally low survival rate of start-ups in India and in global markets is a well known fact. Having come far enough to celebrate 5 years, we take not just a pause but a bow, as well.
Our pride stems from not just surviving, but from having built and nurtured a strong team and work ethic. We have delivered (and are committed to delivering) solutions that our clients find immense value in. Our pride stems from our platform that has already powered over 500 days of Live Sports, Entertainment, and Reality TV in one of the world’s most competitive media and entertainment markets.
Our pride stems from the fact that we dare to challenge how things work and from having done things our own way, as opposed to chasing the chimera of trends in a highly complex and dynamic industry.
We’ve bootstrapped our way through most of these five years. As with every start up, there was pressure to expand the team to keep pace with the rapid growth we were facing in the early years. We had to find the right balance between hiring the right people and keeping our growth engine going. According to Anand (our COO), “A great product idea in a dynamic industry needs ingenuity and long term vision in the engineering division. We consider the quality of engineering we do and the solutions we build to be of unparalleled quality. So, we grew our team slowly and carefully, and we wanted the freedom to do that”.
Our pride stems from having built a team of engineers who love what they do and want to grow with the company. We take pride in the fact that none of our engineers have left us since 2015. Anil (Head of Technology) says, “We have a very free and agile engineering policy. We don’t place restrictions and people are not bound to work on just one aspect of the product all the time.”
This thought process has created a bunch of hungry, eager-to-learn-and-explore group of engineers, who are keen on experimenting and building solutions that positively impact our clients. There are people in the team who’ve shifted careers – like Ravi did from business analysis to product management – and people who’ve joined the team straight out of college and stayed back to see it grow, like Anamika, who says: “I never wanted to be a cog in one giant machine, only to be serving something I’d never fully understand. Back then, the size of our team was under 10 people and it was the perfect time to jump in. Currently, I’m the only woman in our engineering team of six! It’s undoubtedly the best team to be a part of.”
The open culture within Voiro is evident from an example shared by Jithin (Head of Development). “When we started, big data was just a term that had begun to appear in the analytics space. Soon, this changed and there was a big data explosion. We needed to figure out how to leverage this trend to drive revenue for our clients and when two of our engineers, Dhruv and Anamika said they want to build a solution that addressed this opportunity, we gave them free rein to explore and implement. They took on this initiative, went to the AWS office, put in the extra work and built a system to manage the data better for the future.” Dhruv states that the reporting from other sources (ad servers) were limited and using big data, they were able to extract accurate information which was previously unavailable or incorrect, such as unique user count by different demographics like age, gender, location, etc.
This gives the client deeper insights into their audience and also helps increase fill rates. Earlier, our platform was using a more traditional approach to process data, but now, we are able to process 100’s of GB of data within minutes.
When the younger team members echo this sentiment, we know we are on the right track as a company. “I get the freedom to research and present perspectives, and we all get the liberty to make suggestions” says Abhishek, a new addition to our tech team.
Our pride stems from having created a world-class product from scratch by doing what matters most, in a market as competitive and as big as India.
Voiro is India’s first all-in-one revenue management suite for ad-led digital publishers across media. Our cloud-based solution is built to tackle the complex world of multiple revenue channels and provides the best data security and protection, critical for a data driven, content centric industry.
Luckily for us, our journey began as the OTT tide was rising. We learnt on-the-go and scaled up working with a client who was willing to partner with us, a start-up that had yet to earn our stripes. That client, Hotstar, today handles terabytes of data in seconds and we turn this data into intelligence for their sales, ad ops, and executive teams, ensuring that they can optimise their revenue and seamlessly manage workflows.
Kavita (our CEO) says “While getting the first few customers is certainly a thrill, the greater challenge is in continuing to retain the first client. That’s why we’re especially proud that we have been part of Hotstar’s journey over the last five years and are still going strong. We hope to grow with them and continue to drive and scale their revenue in tandem, proving that a client’s growth fuels ours, if we work together.
Anand has an interesting take on the product. He says, “Voiro is a lifestyle product and NOT used sporadically. Our client’s teams use our products day in and day out. When Sales is logging a conversation they use our product. When they want to take a campaign live, they use our product. When they want to extract a report they use our product. When the pricing team wants to publish a set of prices they use our product to communicate to sales. When the finance teams are reconciling revenue, they use our product. These teams run on our product.”
Kavita sums up the journey succinctly. “We enable companies track innovative methods of monetisation. By working closely with the industry, we learnt what to expect and how to be prepared. We kept track of every single revenue decision and converted it into intelligence and this has been the building block of our product roadmap and value creation.”
Anand adds, “While consumer products are perceived as “sexy” to build, they also require astronomical funds. We are a home-grown start-up that is building a B-2-B product. The product that we’ve built may not make the “sexy” list (who makes these lists, anyway?) but it is a tangible solution to an industry specific problem that positively impacts monetisation. We might not have bloated valuations but we definitely have the ability to create a legacy in our chosen domain and transform the way revenue acceleration is defined.”
In the last five years, we have learnt from our experiences, stayed agile and made the right pivots at the right time.
- We’ve gone from being a content creator platform to a technology platform.
- We’ve gone from Ops automation to focusing on revenue acceleration.
- We’ve gone from mitigating risk to powering inventory prediction.
- We’ve gone from tracking to impacting fill rates.
- We’ve gone from providing information to driving data intelligence.
- We’ve gone from monitoring data to monetising it.
We know the best is yet to come. Here’s to the next decade of the Voiro Way!
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